Pastoral Counselor Training

The Pastoral Institute is part of the Samaritan Center Network of Counseling Centers offering spiritually integrated, clinically wholistic, compassionate care for all persons.

Faculty, supervisors,  staff are committed to creating a learning community of dialogue, trust, and co-pilgrimage that facilitates andpersonal, pastoral and professional integration of clinical skills and theory. We find our primary values and direction from the Judeo-Christian faith while serving people of all faiths, recognizing the importance of Aboriginal elder Lila Watson’s observation:

If you've come here to help me, you're wasting your time. But if you've come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.


  • Residencies

    We offer 1-2 full-time post graduate residencies annually. Residents conduct 14 face to face clinical hours weekly and participate in a variety of supervision groups, mindfulness training, theological reflection and interdisciplinary clinical consultations along with workshops and didactic courses. Upon completion of three years of FT residency, person may apply for state licensure and/or for certification in AAPC as pastoral counselors.

    Full-time residencies are also available in our Children’s division for graduates wishing to specialize in work with children. A Developmental psychologist heads this program and residents gain skills in testing and social skills group along with individual therapy with children.

  • Externships

    Externships are for individuals in placements outside the Pastoral Institute who contract for supervision with our faculty and to take courses and workshops on site.

  • Internships

    Practicum-internships are offered on a competitive basis for 9 months to 1 year. We do not accept individuals for less than 9 months.

Admission for Residency

 Admission to our post-graduate residency training program in pastoral counseling requires:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A master's degree from a graduate school accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (or equivalent) and for those seeking licensure, a second master's degree or doctorate in the counseling field.
  • Membership in good standing with a local faith group or church.
  • Ecclesiastical endorsement or ordination attained or in progress (for pastoral counselors).
  • Enough experience as a client in personal psychotherapy to understand one's own personal processes, growth issues and a beginning experiential understanding of psycho-therapeutic change.
  • Demonstration of a clear religious identity and commitment to family therapy or pastoral counseling through letters of recommendation and Statement of Purpose (contained in application materials).
  • Completion of application forms for residency, including submission of the application fee.

The Resident Training Program accepts applications from non-immigrant international students. We offer the I-20 documentation necessary to obtain F-1 visa status for those international students who are accepted into the full-time residency program.

If you have questions, please contact for further information and for assistance in the application process.

Admission for Internship or Practicum

Admission as an intern or practicum student requires:

  • Applicant to be associated with immediate work and enrollment in master’s, Ph.D. or D.Min program in an institution of higher learning.
  • Good academic standing.
  • A commitment to the program for one year.
  • A commitment to integration of faith and mental health.
  • The ability to arrange schedules to include training, learning and case review activities with other trainees.
  • Proof of current professional liability through an academic institution.
  • Academic supervisors willing to work cooperatively with the director of training.

If you have questions, please contact us at


The Pastoral Counselor Training Program accepts applications throughout the year and interviews as openings become available.

Applications for training at the Pastoral Institute should be submitted to the director of the training program. Each applicant is to provide: three letters of reference on the forms provided (at least one from a former supervisor), transcripts from college and seminary work and Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) final evaluations, if applicable. Applications for residency should be accompanied by a non-refundable $75 processing fee. Applications for an internship should be accompanied by a non-refundable $25 processing fee. The admissions committee of the training program will review applications and make selections for personal interviews. Applicants selected for an interview must submit graphics and interpretative results of a recent MMPI-II prior to their interview.Other testing may be required as deemed necessary by the director of training or training faculty. A $120 fee is required for testing at the Pastoral Institute.

Stipends plus benefits are available only for full-time post-graduate pastoral counseling residencies. Non-stipend part-time residencies,
internships, and externships are sometimes available by request.

If you have questions, please contact us at

Thank you to our sponsors.

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